Recommendation Date
Recipient Name
Gisborne DC (F)
Ensure that the duly appointed harbourmaster for the Port of Gisborne is employed on terms and conditions which enable him or her to properly fulfil the statutory function of the position at all material times.
Reply Text
As the result of surge conditions in the Port of Gisborne on 19 January 2003 and their effect on the vessel “Lyra”, the Maritime Safety Authority (MSA) conducted a safety audit at the Port under Section 54 of the Maritime Transport Act 1954. As a consequence of that audit the MSA made certain recommendations regarding the organisation of Harbourmaster services at Gisborne.

Council is co-operating with the MSA to ensure that a satisfactory solution to Harbourmaster issues is put in place and is continuing to work on those issues.

In particular, Council sought expressions of interest from suitably qualified persons by advertising both in Gisborne and on a national basis. There was limited response. Only one Gisborne resident with suitable experience responded. While there were responses from two Master Mariners, one lived in Tauranga and the other in Kati Kati and neither was prepared to move to Gisborne to take up limited part time employment.

On 12 May 2003 Council engaged the services of [the Gisborne applicant] to assist the Harbourmaster by providing local representation. [The Gisborne applicant’s] credentials are as follows:

1) he has recently retired after 25 years’ service with the Royal New Zealand Navy having reached the rank of warrant officer and held a Grade 3 Bridge Watchkeeping Certificate for the last seven years.

2) he has extensive OOW experience over the last seven years around the New Zealand coast.

3) he has considerable experience in hydrographic survey work with the Royal New Zealand Navy and as a consequence has expert knowledge in this area and useful contacts with the relevant Government agencies.

[He] has been engaged on a retainer but directed to work on an “as required” basis without any restriction being placed on his hours of work. He will have assistance from the Harbourmaster and Chief Environmental Health Officer who is also an enforcement officer at the Port. It is proposed that over the next three months [he] will undergo training and gain experience which may result in it being appropriate to appoint him as Deputy Harbourmaster.

Ongoing steps are being taken to ensure that the Harbourmaster is supported by at least a Deputy Harbourmaster based in Gisborne. Council will continue to monitor the availability of suitable personnel who may be sufficiently qualified and experienced to be appointed as Deputy Harbourmaster should [he] not for any reason ultimately fill that role.

I trust from the above the Commission will accept that the provision of additional support for the Harbourmaster at Gisborne will enable him to be employed on terms and conditions which enable him to properly fulfil the statutory function of the position at all material times.
Related Investigation(s)